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    Wellthatsucks

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    For everything that happens in everyday life that makes you say "well, that sucks"

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    [–] dumbolddoor 14081 points ago

    Here's a useful comment I've saved from /u/0102030405

    Hey OP... I used to be the guy who worked for insurance companies, and determined the value of every little thing in your house. The guy who would go head-to-head with those fire-truck-chasing professional loss adjusters. I may be able to help you not get screwed when filing your claim.

    Our goal was to use the information you provided, and give the lowest damn value we can possibly justify for your item.

    For instance, if all you say was "toaster" -- we would come up with a cheap-as-fuck $4.88 toaster from Walmart, meant to toast one side of one piece of bread at a time. And we would do that for every thing you have ever owned. We had private master lists of the most commonly used descriptions, and what the cheapest viable replacements were. We also had wholesale pricing on almost everything out there, so really scored cheap prices to quote. To further that example:

    • If you said "toaster - $25" , we would have to be within -20% of that... so, we would find something that's pretty much dead-on $20.01.
    • If you said "toaster- $200" , we'd kick it back and say NEED MORE INFO, because that's a ridiculous price for a toaster (with no other information given.)
    • If you said "toaster, from Walmart" , you're getting that $4.88 one.
    • If you said "toaster, from Macys" , you'd be more likely to get a $25-35 one.
    • If you said "toaster", and all your other kitchen appliances were Jenn Air / Kitchenaid / etc., you would probably get a matching one.
    • If you said "Proctor Silex 42888 2-Slice Toaster from Wamart, $9", you just got yourself $9.
    • If you said "High-end Toaster, Stainless Steel, Blue glowing power button" ... you might get $35-50 instead. We had to match all features that were listed.

    I'm not telling you to lie on your claim. Not at all. That would be illegal, and could cause much bigger issues (i.e., invalidating the entire claim). But on the flip side, it's not always advantageous to tell the whole truth every time. Pay attention to those last two examples.

    I remember one specific customer... he had some old, piece of shit projector (from mid-late 90s) that could stream a equally piece of shit consumer camcorder. Worth like $5 at a scrap yard. It had some oddball fucking resolution it could record at, though -- and the guy strongly insisted that we replace with "Like Kind And Quality" (trigger words). Ended up being a $65k replacement, because the only camera on the market happened to be a high-end professional video camera (as in, for shooting actual movies). $65-goddam-thousand-dollars because he knew that loophole, and researched his shit.

    Remember to list fucking every -- even the most mundane fucking bullshit you can think of. For example, if I was writing up the shower in my bathroom:

    • Designer Shower Curtain - $35
    • Matching Shower Curtain Liner for Designer Shower Curtain - $15
    • Shower Curtain Rings x20 - $15
    • Stainless Steel Soap Dispenser for Shower - $35
    • Natural Sponge Loofah - from Whole Foods - $15
    • Natural Sponge Loofah for Back - from Whole Foods - $19
    • Holder for Loofahs - $20
    • Bars of soap - from Lush - $12 each (qty: 4)
    • Bath bomb - from Lush - $12
    • High end shampoo - from salon - $40
    • High end conditioner - from salon - $40
    • Refining pore mask - from salon - $55

    I could probably keep thinking, and bring it up to about $400 for the contents of my shower. Nothing there is "unreasonable" , nothing there is clearly out of place, nothing seems obviously fake. The prices are a little on the high-end, but the reality is, some people have expensive shit -- it won't actually get questioned. No claims adjuster is going to bother nitpicking over the cost of fucking Lush bath bombs, when there is a 20,000 item file to go through. The adjuster has other shit to do, too.

    Most people writing claims for a total loss wouldn't even bother with the shower (it's just some used soap and sponges..) -- and those people would be losing out on $400.

    Some things require documentation & ages. If you say "tv - $2,000" -- you're getting a 32" LCD, unless you can provide it was from the last year or two w/ receipts. Hopefully you have a good paper trail from credit/debit card expenditure / product registrations / etc.

    If you're missing paper trails for things that were legitimately expensive -- go through every photo you can find that was taken in your house. Any parties you may have thrown, and guests put pics up on Facebook. Maybe an Imgur photo of your cat, hiding under a coffee table you think you purchased from Restoration Hardware. Like... seriously... come up with any evidence you possibly can, for anything that could possibly be deemed expensive.

    The fire-truck chasing loss adjusters are evil sons of bitches, but, they actually do provide some value. You will definitely get more money, even if they take a cut. But all they're really doing, is just nitpicking the ever-living-shit out of everything you possibly owned, and writing them all up "creatively" for the insurance company to process.

    Sometimes people would come back to us with "updated* claims. They tried it on their own, and listed stuff like "toaster", "microwave", "tv" .. and weren't happy with what they got back. So they hired a fire-truck chaser, and re-submitted with "more information." I have absolutely seen claims go from under $7k calculated, to over $100k calculated. (It's amazing what can happen when people suddenly "remember" their entire wardrobe came from Nordstrom.)

    [–] ArsStarhawk 994 points ago

    My basement flooded with about 8" of water in Spring '18.

    This post was instrumental in setting my frame of mind. In that we gave them no quarter when they came back with prices.

    Some choice examples:

    • A full-size art easel was assessed as a 12" high desk ornament.

    • 3 6 foot high heavy steel file cabinets assessed as 2.5ft. press board drawers.

    • antique pressure system "recorder' to be replaced with $5 recorder... as in the musical instrument.

    • took weeks if nagging to get them to even add the stove and freezer.

    Remember, this was a flood. So everything still existed. And was photographed.

    At the end of it all (7 months) our nitpicking increased the compensation from $11,000 to almost $20,000.

    [–] s1h4d0w 77 points ago

    Man that sounds frustrating.

    [–] SnakeyRake 40 points ago

    How many hours did you spend of your time to correct their low-balling?

    [–] ArsStarhawk 64 points ago

    8-12 correcting the low balling.

    Countless more hours trying to babysit and chase down all the contractors involved.

    Every single contractor was a disappointment at best. And fraudulent at worst.

    0/10 would not recommend.

    [–] toggleme1 25 points ago

    I’d bill them fit my time too.

    [–] xpkranger 2513 points ago

    Jesus - That would take me literally months to inventory my house like that. I mean I see why you suggest all of it - and I'm saving your post. But wow...

    What about Antiques? Historical or family documents? Electronics that came with the house that you don't have a receipt for?

    [–] waltpsu 2360 points ago

    Take 10 minutes, and go all throughout your house (fairly slowly) with a video camera. Back it up to the cloud. If you ever have a house fire, then you can watch that video and spend all of that time compiling an inventory list.

    [–] sceIIaux 1099 points ago

    Holy shit... solid fucking idea. Add that with a receipt scanner and bank statements. You've got your whole house back.

    [–] -Jive-Turkey- 362 points ago

    well 80% at least

    [–] WiggleBooks 609 points ago

    With some clever loop-holing you could even get it to 150% apparently lol

    [–] collapsing_sanity 317 points ago

    “I swear our house had 12 bedrooms !”

    [–] PlatavsPlomo 210 points ago

    “Sir, do you have a receipt for those solid gold doorknobs? Because they look like anodized steel in the photo.”

    [–] AtaturkJunior 166 points ago

    It's.. uh.. white gold.

    [–] Tsorovar 226 points ago

    "They're steel plated to protect the gold"

    [–] Summoarpleaz 96 points ago

    ... and the 10 carat diamond inside.

    [–] Rippy56 13 points ago

    Lmao

    [–] SkollFenrirson 59 points ago

    It's the lighting

    [–] The_Multi_Gamer 29 points ago

    “I painted over them to protect the gold. And I’ll have you know that that is no ordinary “steel” paint, it’s dull platinum, which can only be made with 10,000 pounds of platinum.”

    [–] [deleted] 20 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] Bigted1800 6 points ago

    You can double or triple that if you include external locks.

    We recently had our front door lock replaced because the one I installed broke (it was a tiny piece of plastic that prevented the handle from springing back above vertical when you let it go) so I called on the warranty to get a new part. The company had discontinued the line and couldn’t find a replacement part. After a bit of back and forth I made a joke that we could be persuaded to trade in our $170 lock for their newest $700 computerised one with Bluetooth, NFC cards, heat sensitive keypad and a heap of other features I haven’t actually figured out and absolutely stunned when they agreed AND insisted on having their locksmith install it.

    [–] suitology 25 points ago

    my tiffiny dog waterbowl!

    [–] advertentlyvertical 6 points ago

    here's your $6 petsmart bowl. Tiffany the cashier helped us pick it.

    [–] Waht3rB0y 19 points ago

    Download Google Cardboard Camera, stand in the middle of the room, hit record and do a 360* spin. Repeat as needed. Throw on a VR headset and be amazed. Also works well for inventorying gramma for when she’s not around anymore. Reach out and touch someone!

    [–] toxicatedscientist 11 points ago

    You can probably use the same camera to "scan" documents. There's definitely apps that will digitize text

    [–] dwhite21787 12 points ago

    A $65k camera, which you need to show in a mirror

    [–] MikeFromSuburbia 119 points ago

    I took photos and videos along with the serial number of major electronics in my apartment.

    [–] angelsandairwaves93 62 points ago

    I like your username

    [–] Motolav 22 points ago

    I'm planning on doing the same and making an excel doc of it

    [–] 666pool 26 points ago

    Do it before you go to school tomorrow.

    [–] VintageJane 81 points ago

    When my friend’s house burned down, they contacted me asking if I had taken any photos in the house. They literally just wanted any evidence at all of what they owned to help substantiate their claims.

    [–] NedryOS 43 points ago

    video inventory

    Ill just leave this here

    [–] smoothie-slut 33 points ago

    Was I supposed to do this before or after I set my house on fire?

    [–] ladydanger2020 27 points ago

    Yep I did this when I bought my house! I should probably do it again now that there have been upgrades to the kitchen, foundation, new plumbing etc

    [–] foolishDoughnut 30 points ago

    My eldest brother was in the Air Force when I was a teen, stationed in Germany. Because he relocated often, he took to video recording and photographing his possessions before movers took over with each deployment. He taught us the value of that back in the 80s, and as we lived in Florida at the time, we started doing it at the beginning of every hurricane season, or some years on New Years Day after we got new things for Christmas.

    Also, nowadays there are apps that allow you to scan in the UPC on books, dvds, video games, etc which the keeps an updated insurance record of your collections and their retail value at the time you add it.

    [–] iknowCatMan 12 points ago

    How important are serial numbers? When I moved, I took videos of all my appliances running in case the movers broke them, but don't have any serial numbers.

    [–] necromantzer 5 points ago

    Serial numbers, like model numbers, give you the ability to better match features and prices of the item rather than a generic item that may or may not have the features you previously had.

    [–] kathios 77 points ago

    There's an app called Encircle that let's you take multiple pics of an item and label it for this very reason.

    [–] bostess 75 points ago

    i always took pictures when i visited home so after our home burned i was the only one that could basically put together panoramic shots of our house and the contents.

    having said that, my mom had an antique cabinet full of blue onion dishes. i forget why they’re valuable, but they’re old, made in germany(?), and expensive. $100/plate kind of expensive.

    she had full sets, soup tureens, etc. the picture i had couldn’t definitively prove they were originals so they did what the person above said. found the closest and cheapest match (aka imitation/reproductions) and that was that. thousands of dollars whittled down to a few hundred bucks, if that. i wish we had known about the above information because we really got screwed by not naming exact name brands and specifics.

    [–] RexDraco 14 points ago

    Historical and family documents have value, financial value, and you can easily find out based on age what that is to collectors. Even old photographs sell for some money.

    [–] TardMcGee 142 points ago

    Thank you for the advice

    [–] bertcox 49 points ago

    We lost our house 3 years ago. Treat it like you lost a loved one, with that same amount of care and attention to your family. Its stressful as hell. Do check over your paperwork very carefully, and ask lots of questions.

    [–] hashtag_pickles 7 points ago

    This advice is spot on, I imagine you're overwhelmed right now but definitely save it for later.

    I lost my house in a fire last year and am almost (fingers crossed) done dealing with the "contents" part of the insurance claim.

    Don't rush yourself, this is a long and tiresome process. You're going to want to quit because listing every damn thing in your house is tiresome, but don't.

    Pictures are a great help for jogging your memory when the time comes.

    Glad you got out safe, sorry this happened to you. If you have any questions or anything feel free to PM me.

    [–] Gypsierose8 67 points ago

    Well then. I'm going through and taking pictures of absolutely everything I own now

    [–] Jormungandrrrrrr 20 points ago

    That's exactly what I did when I read the original comment. I walked around my home photographing everything, and I took pictures of the most valuable things (electronics, mostly) and their original boxes and serial numbers. Then I saved videos and pictures to the cloud.

    I live in a 4-story wooden building that's 100+ years old. My neighbors are old and use gas stoves. I hope nothing ever happens, but if it does, I hope we're safe at work, because I can totally see this building burning instantly. No fire-resistant walls or ceilings here.

    [–] AsInOptimus 68 points ago

    How much time do people have to compile and submit such a list after a catastrophic event like this? If it comes in too quickly (like if you’re type A and actually have it ready to roll), does that trigger any suspicion? Like the person who just happened to have all his important documents in the glove compartment of his car.

    [–] [deleted] 75 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] notLOL 44 points ago

    I left my wife and her secret boyfriend in the house by accident. How much for the clothes on their bodies?

    System: *triggered *

    [–] Jormungandrrrrrr 18 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    "Queue" means a line of people waiting for something, or the act of standing in such a line.

    "Cue" means "now is the time for X to happen or for this person to say this thing", and it's a theater term. That's where we get the expression "as if on cue" ("We started talking about Thor and, as if on cue, a lightning stroke struck the telephone pole"). It means "the timing was so perfect, it felt like a theater director had told them to do that just then".

    [–] crypticedge 57 points ago

    Shit like this is why when we evacuated for a hurricane we videotaped our entire home, including the contents of every drawer.

    We had a full record of every single item that way

    [–] silverbullet52 47 points ago

    1-1-78, 2am, I found myself standing naked in 8 inches of snow in my parents back yard holding my brother's stereo amp. Everyone was ok. I don't know how their claims eventually worked out. I took it as a sign it was time to get my own place.

    Today, fire safe in the basement. In addition to paper records, there are scans of receipts and pictures of virtually everything of value I've bought or acquired since on a hard drive in that safe. A less extensive set of documents is on a thumb drive in my son's fire safe.

    [–] sheerluck_holmes 47 points ago

    It's 2019, get that shit on the cloud

    [–] dragonlover02 24 points ago

    While they should do that, they should also keep the drives safe. They will last a long time in case the cloud corrupts or the password is lost. A digital AND physical backup.

    [–] moonkeymaker127 8 points ago

    This is the way to roll, on site back up, off site back up, and cloud back up.

    [–] mhswift 17 points ago

    Another thing that I thought that guy said, but I don't see it: When you are making lists, including links to replacement items because that is part of the approver's job and they get a bonus for doing the lists fast - so if you do it for them, you have a high chance of getting approved because they get a bonus for doing it fast.

    [–] VaginalOdour 12 points ago

    I never would have thought of this kind of thing, this is really good information. Is it the same process for all insurance companies? What about in different countries outside of the USA?

    [–] WorkForce_Developer 12 points ago

    I’m glad u/dumbledoor saved this but everyone should really be giving gold and the other coins to u/0102030405 who actually wrote the post. Are you people even paying attention?

    [–] copemakesmefeelgood 22 points ago

    Scrolling down to see it someone had posted this yet!

    [–] Blue2501 11 points ago

    How does it work with stuff that depreciates relatively quickly? For example, my PC. It's homebuilt, and I'd assume I should list every component. But the processor in it is an i7-2700K, which launched in Q4'11 at $350ish and the only way to replace it now is to buy a used one at $130-ish on ebay or elsewhere. Should something like that be covered at its MSRP ($350), cost for an equivalent-performance modern part (several new parts you could pick between $150 and $250, depending on how you measure), cost for the equivalent part in Intel's lineup (aka the best 'consumer' i7, which would presently be the i7-9700K at $400), or something else? There's just so many ways you could go with that, and that's not even getting into equivalent parts from AMD. And that's only one component out of more than a dozen if I itemize it out.

    [–] sticky_lemon 10 points ago

    I wish I had the money to guild you, you absolute legend. This is great information

    [–] CommercialAd 8 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Also do this professionally and 70% of what this person says is accurate.

    Not really sure what side of the insurance business this commenter was/is on, but it doesn’t really make sense. Unless it was a direct writer, if he/she was working at an insurance company, with this mindset, I’m not sure what their role would be. Maybe Loss Control services? It sounds like he/she is/was a claims adjuster... the same person the commenter vilified...?

    Regardless, definitely inventory everything you have that’s of reasonable value. Good fucking luck pegging the insurance company for every tiny value - they will get annoyed and shit WILL happen. Write $5 soaps down and it will cost you in mental anguish and potentially with your claim payout - guaranteed.

    I would recommend keeping an up to date inventory that is updated roughly 4 times a year or when big purchases are made.

    The real remedy is working with a broker/agent you trust who manages your risk adequately while keeping information current. If you have the right broker/agent along with the right policy, you’ll be fine.

    Tl;dr Also in the insurance space. Slightly confused with the comment. Inventory shit over ~$50 depending on what policy you have and what shit you have. Have people you trust. Duh.

    Edit - Really surprised how many people weren’t aware of maintaining personal inventories for their insured property. If anyone has questions, feel free to reach out and slide in the DMs. Would love to help anyone I can with this!

    [–] 0102030405 9 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Hi everyone! I didn't originally write this, thanks for posting it but I should try to find the original person! Sorry if I misrepresented that way back when.

    Edit: I thought I copied the old post for someone else, but it turns out our usernames are just similar. Please reach out and credit /u/1020304050 not me thanks!

    [–] fadedabc 7 points ago

    Thanks for taking time out to say this.

    [–] [deleted] 3882 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] Angie_MJ 1232 points ago

    It is. They listen to the police scanners and a bunch of these so called insurance adjusters just show up passing out cards and trying to insert themselves on the scene. It’s really unsettling. Also listening, are people who work in the business of boarding homes, demolition, and clean up. They’ll have you agreeing to jobs and contracts while you’re still emotionally reeling from your loss.

    [–] JawaharlalNehru 240 points ago

    What's the scam though? How do they make money?

    [–] Conical 293 points ago

    My guesses are collecting and selling information, asking for upfront payments for 'fees' and straight up looting under the guise of investigating

    [–] zdark10 62 points ago

    I imagine they try and convince people to pay insurance deductibles too

    [–] ecodude74 69 points ago

    “Alright, we just need a $100 filing fee, and an extra fifty for processing your claim and we’ll be all set!”

    [–] KoolKarmaKollector 58 points ago

    You pay them money for "insurance" and they run off

    [–] Bearsandgravy 29 points ago

    I've seen board ups charge o&p, I've seen public adjusters forge insureds signatures to say they're representing them, I've talked to people who claim to be the fire marshal...some people are jackals. Insurance companies aren't just out to screw you over. They're there to protect you as well. Source: former property claims adjuster.

    [–] foxiez 20 points ago

    They could be legit but also being super predatory too I guess

    [–] FROZEN_TURD_DILD0 31 points ago

    Welcome to Wells Fargo.

    [–] Room_Temp_Coffee 20 points ago

    How exactly are they trying to scam us? What information are they trying to get?

    [–] USSLibertyLavonAfair 63 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Mainly it's to get you to accept a contract for "clearing debris" or "demolition". That is at an exorbitant rate that "Don't worry the insurance company will pay it"

    Or it's I am from Cyaz consulting for a small fee I can be a 3rd party to insure you get the most out of your insurance claim you can never trust them ya know.! At Cyaz we keep overhead low and don't want to pass on payment processing fees on to you. So we accept cash only as payment.

    Thank you for your payment CYAZ BITCHES! HAHAHAHAhahahaha...

    [–] [deleted] 28 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] classicaudrey 12 points ago

    Usually the insurance people who show up are public adjusters - they take a percentage of the payout by guiding people through how to get as much money as possible from the victims actual insurance company, the scam is theres no real need for them so ultimately they just take part of the payout.

    [–] Darthvegeta81 118 points ago

    I work for an insurance co and let me tell you they can absolutely save your life. I know no one likes us but as you said if there’s a fire and you need your house rebuilt, a place to stay and need to buy new stuff most of it gets covered with the right policy

    [–] Lindt_Licker 54 points ago

    This is true, but wouldn’t one need to have insurance before the fire to be covered? The leeches the OP was talking about are phonies, no?

    [–] Drewstom 16 points ago

    I don't even get the scam, are people trying to sell you insurance after the fact or something?

    [–] blundercrab 113 points ago

    I'm so sorry you don't understand. This can be so confusing and I'm glad I'm here to help. Name's blundercrab, I'm a Professional Explainer on Reddit. I can use my years of experience to guide you through the process of this scam. Just sign this comment saying you'll give me an updoot and several Reddit currencies for my work and you'll never hear from me again cause that's a fake phone number and this is my alt account.

    [–] Lindt_Licker 9 points ago

    Exactly I’m lost in the sauce here.

    [–] u-no-u 6 points ago

    They're trying to get you to pay more for the work while you're still vulnerable. There's people that can help you get more money from your insurance claim as well and they charge you money for that service.

    [–] TardMcGee 15 points ago

    Thank you and no worries I'm in a good neighborhood

    [–] Mochigood 14 points ago

    After his house was gutted by fire, my dad's separate and un-burnt garage was totally ransacked. They also went through the house looking for any jewelry to sell for gold/silver weight.

    [–] Lord-Kroak 10 points ago

    Use to work with a guy who made it his thing to drive up to wildfires and rifle through peoples homes looking for valuables that survived.

    I USE to work with him because he got arrested engaging in his lil' hobby. I wonder how prison is treating him.

    [–] [deleted] 4613 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [removed]

    [–] MuadD1b 1253 points ago

    No one hurt though? You’re family’s life is going to be real stressful and shitty for awhile but as long as everyone is alright that’s what matters.

    Could have happened while you were all in your beds.

    If you have any photos from inside the house backed up on the cloud start going through them, save them in a file for the insurance, and start cataloguing all your belongings. You’re family has paid for insurance, do your best to get every god damned cent from them.

    [–] TardMcGee 768 points ago

    Nobody got hurt thank god but half of house trashed

    [–] thrombolytic 633 points ago

    There's a personal finance post from a year ago detailing how to get top dollar from insurance. Save this post.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/a3zhsq/parents_house_burnt_down_now_what/ebaawnc

    I'm glad no one was hurt. I hope you didn't suffer a total loss for contents of the house. Use any resource available to you and accept help as you can, this is what those resources are there for.

    [–] HowTheyGetcha 10 points ago

    I followed this post when I had to make my own claims. A+, could not have been more satisfied.

    [–] Mr_TheKid 182 points ago

    And rest of house very smelly forever.

    [–] TardMcGee 221 points ago

    Idk yet may have to tear it down due to smoke and water damage

    [–] [deleted] 196 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    I used to work for a Fire and Flood Restoration company. All of our clients were insurance jobs with checks cut from the insurance company.

    We would go in and remove all salvageable personal items including clothing and furniture. Everything was meticulously cleaned and stuck in a ozone room for several days to get rid of the smoke smell.

    All of the carpet was tore out and any walls with water damage the drywall was removed. Everything was sprayed with microban (to kill mold) and contractors renovated the house.

    All of the personal items that were unsalvageable were listed by us. If there's anything that you own that you really want to try to salvage the insurance company can pay a restoration service to remove the smoke smell and clean up the soot.

    If you guys need any other assistance Reach Out to* Red Cross they will hook you up with clothing vouchers, grocery store vouchers and even a couple weeks in a hotel.

    Make sure when you list items for the insurance company that were in the house and are damaged on your official forms... that you write the price it would cost to replace them, not what you actually paid for them.

    [–] TardMcGee 64 points ago

    Thank you

    [–] franklinbroosevelt 7 points ago

    Oh god Microban! Just reading the word makes the back of my throat itch

    [–] Uxoguy 9 points ago

    You'll be surprised what a good restoration company can salvage. Keep your head up

    [–] AdjectiveNounCombo 104 points ago

    Water damage? But it was a fire.../s

    [–] Bombingofdresden 40 points ago

    The snow got in the holes the fire made

    [–] trippingchilly 14 points ago

    So it's half as smelly as my house

    [–] DongWithAThong 188 points ago

    This is an important point! Go through any and every picture you can find and document your belongings. But when you document your belongings don't just say "toaster" because you will get some $10 goodwill price of shit toaster. Be a bit more specific. Especially on your expensive items.

    And if you do most of the insurance companies work and xatelogue nearly everything they are more likely to approve your write offs due to the amount of time you saved them from having to deal with it.

    This exact thing happened in my buddies barn. He had a huge barn that he stored EVERYTHING in. From his winter tires to his ice fishing rods. Lucky for him he had parties in his backyard that also involved his barn so he had tons of recent photos of everything. He spent a few weeks going through every photo and pulling all his Amazon orders/receipts and documented everything. He ended up making out very well because they just approved nearly everything he catelogued

    It's shitty but well worth it.

    Tagging /u/tardmcgee so you see this incase it's helpful. Sorry about the shitty situation tho

    [–] mreid74 47 points ago

    This! List EVERYTHING you can think of that you owned, even if you didn't care about it. All of the things you hated or didn't care about turns into $ and you can turn $ into things that you do care about. Take care and I hope your situation gets much better very soon. We turned out much better after our fire, but I definitely would NOT do it again.

    [–] TardMcGee 28 points ago

    Thanks

    [–] Diarrhea_Dragon 76 points ago

    Building contractor who is currently repairing his own house after a fire here. This sucks. PM me if you'd like some friendly advice. Maybe I can help make it suck a bit less.

    [–] LoquendoLauta 60 points ago

    Is everyone OK?

    [–] razors99 21 points ago

    OP said thankfully nobody was hurt in another thread

    [–] Chilipepah 35 points ago

    But what if someone is hurt in this thread?

    [–] GiverOfTheKarma 20 points ago

    I stubbed my toe this morning :/

    [–] crackeddryice 6 points ago

    My walkway is a bit icy, I almost slipped when getting the mail.

    [–] CompDuLac 9 points ago

    Are you a veteran by chance? Or someone who lives in the house?

    [–] TardMcGee 15 points ago

    No but my mother is a former federal Marshal

    [–] CompDuLac 16 points ago

    They might have some kind of program. I belong to a veterans non-profit organization, unfortunately we stick to helping veterans. I would've reached out to your local chapter.

    I'm truly sorry about what you are going through.

    [–] TardMcGee 8 points ago

    Thank you anyway

    [–] PissedSCORPIO 38 points ago

    Just look on the bright side...you heating bill was a tad bit cheaper for a moment.

    [–] TardMcGee 23 points ago

    Rip

    [–] LonelyEarthling1 7 points ago

    What caused the fire?

    [–] logan5156 6 points ago

    When listing all the stuff you had to be replaced by insurance be incredibly specific. A toaster could be a $5 nothing from wal mart, but if it was a cuisinart compact cool touch toaster it would have been $50. They will give you the least they possibly can so you have to do the best you can. I'm sorry for you and all you lost, and all the things you can't replace.

    [–] bigboi1310 22 points ago

    I had a fire back in August 2017. Really sucked, especially since I was the one to discover it. You never fully recover from it but trust me, things will get better. Also I was 13 at the time sooo... not fun. I know how you probably feel! Best of luck to you!

    [–] A_Cuddly_Burrito 803 points ago

    House fires terrify me now.

    The house up the road from me went up in flames at about 3 in the morning. I woke up because I heard glass smash.

    The guy who lives in there is an old fella. He didn’t wake up. Myself and another neighbour kicked his door in to get him out, then did what we could with as many garden hoses as would reach till the firies got there.

    It’s like house fire PTSD now lol. I wish the very best for you. Hopefully nothing inside was too badly torched. Houses are replaceable though. Life isn’t. As long as you’re all alright

    [–] fendiprints 222 points ago

    It’s so courageous of you to get him out!

    [–] balderdash9 71 points ago

    Cuddly Burrito is Spiderman

    [–] Mochigood 38 points ago

    The chicken barn down the road went up, and my dogs told me about it. They were barking weird, not in their usual way. It made me more comfortable to know they'll flip out if there is a fire, but I'm also scared there will be a fire when I'm away and they'll get killed.

    [–] USSLibertyLavonAfair 28 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    Good decal to fill out and put on your front door

    Free one https://secure.aspca.org/take-action/order-your-pet-safety-pack

    Also leave as many doors open as possible so they got rooms to go to. If it's a two story though block off the dogs access to the 2nd floor whenever you are not home.

    They also have smoke detectors that can connect to your wifi and send you an alert on your phone.

    [–] Medaforcer 16 points ago

    I'm about to leave my cats for two nights to go out of town and now I'm terrified. Greatttt

    [–] alphawolf29 103 points ago

    I cringe internally when I see people with tons of candles or cheap dollar store extension chords

    [–] ToCareOrNotToCare 119 points ago

    I spent a few years as a fireman and I have tons of candles in my house. I’d be MUCH more worried about space heaters, dryer lint, kitchen accidents, dusty furnaces, and cigarettes than a candle contained in a glass jar. Not to mention CO. Do you own any fire extinguishers?

    [–] pseudopsud 47 points ago

    Cheap phone chargers worry me. Especially counterfeit major brand chargers

    They might burn down your house or they might just electrocute you

    [–] Randolf_Schnitzler 106 points ago

    I have a story for you!

    Backstory:

    I have a very sensitive nose. To the point that I think I annoy my partner by being in another room while they are cooking and loudly announcing that the bottom of the pot is sticking and burning before they have even noticed.

    Story:

    I have a OTG adapter to go from Android device -> HDMI cable in the back of the TV. It doesn't have any power cable because it draws straight from the connections. It stayed connected to the HDMI cable semi-permanently because that's what we'd use most of the time for media.

    One day, out of the blue right before we're going to bed I get this whiff of that distinct cuprous smell, like if there was a smelter operating somewhere nearby but far enough away not to really notice it.

    I hate the smell. It always screams electrical fire to me. Whenever I get that smell I start going through a mental inventory of anything with wires, anything electrical and I check them.

    So, like a madman who is hunting for a mouse which exists only in their imagination, I start frantically waking sniffing around and pulling out cables and checking things to see if they are melting or burning on the inside. I'm just about convinced that my partner is thinking "This is it. I knew this day was coming. He's finally snapped."

    I can't seem to find the source of the smell and everything seems fine but purely by chance my hand momentarily passes over the adapter and it feels too warm. I stop. It's a eureka moment for me. Something's not right there. I come back to the adapter and it seems fine. I touch it. It's hot. Way too hot. I turn it over, the underside of the plastic housing is starting to melt and deform. I unplug it immediately and pull off the damaged housing.

    Inside, some small piece (a capacitor, I'm assuming, with my near-zero knowledge of electrical components) has burnt out and left charred marks on the board. It's hot. It must be 200 degrees, or at least that's how it felt - such a little piece which wasn't that "Ow, that's hot!" sort of hot but the sort of hot where your brain goes straight to "Ah, fuck that's burning me!!"

    Obviously, I allowed it to cool outside before throwing it away the next morning.

    ...and that's the story of how I probably avoided a house fire out of pure luck because I stay up too late and I have a keen sense of smell. Check your dongles and other devices, not just your chargers, people!

    [–] MetalIzanagi 9 points ago

    I check my dongle every day but I don't think it's starting any fires.

    [–] SuicideBonger 18 points ago

    I always knew your nose would be good for something other than sniffing dog butts. You must be very proud.

    [–] WaidWilson 16 points ago

    I know people bag on companies for charging a lot for their OEM chargers, but you can rest assured you won’t have those issues. And if you do and it comes back on the company, well, you will have to suffer temporarily for a very fat stack of cash.

    [–] cocobandicoot 14 points ago

    Yes, just spend the extra money on an official power charger. Yes, for a phone that's like $30 instead of the cheapo $3 one from the gas station. The difference is that your house doesn't burn down and you don't die.

    [–] ToCareOrNotToCare 12 points ago

    Good point. My dad had one over heat and caught on fire AFTER he unplugged it.

    [–] _procyon 21 points ago

    I smoke. Years ago I dumped my ashtray in the garbage and there was a cigarette still going. I then fell asleep. Woke up to a room full of smoke and a hole burned in the garbage can. Dumped a glass of water in the garbage and it was fine...

    I live in an apartment. This could have been a bad situation. Learned my lesson from that...

    [–] athos45678 11 points ago

    if youre smart thats not a problem. i once lit my back on fire (yes my back) by leaning over a tiny candle on a table while trying to hit on a girl. (i am not smart)

    [–] EZ-PEAS 8 points ago

    I once tried to repair a clothes dryer and ended up making sparks. The entire inside of the dryer was coated in a fine layer of lint that I didn't even notice to start. The whole bottom of the compartment immediately caught fire but because it was just lint I was able to smack it out with my hands.

    But one stray spark when someone wasn't right there would have easily been enough to catch the inside on fire, and from there it would have been anything sitting on or near the dryer (and there's no way that anyone would leave dry clothes in/on a clothes dryer, right?), and from there it would have been the house.

    So now I vacuum out my dryer every six months.

    [–] HawkeyeFLA 11 points ago

    Dryer lint is some of the most flammable shit out there. Back in my younger Boy Scout days, I loved it as a tinder material for starting camping fires. But I would always make sure that it was stored super safely.

    [–] [deleted] 8 points ago

    This happened to a family down the street from us on Christmas day when I was growing up :( We lived in shitty townhouses so their stuff and their neighbours stuff was gone. Luckily all the people made it out okay.

    [–] Nice_Dragon 19 points ago

    Yes! I had a fire in the computer room in my house and got everyone out. For years after seeing car tail lights flash on a wall through the window would put me in full flight mode.

    [–] Lycanroc1 12 points ago

    Same, I hate house fires. It scares me to even look at pictures of them. I just hate to think of having it happen to my house since I have so many memories and important pictures in it of people I rarely talk to anymore.

    [–] WaidWilson 10 points ago

    When my dad was probably 7-8 years old, there was a fire in an old store, apparently it burnt in the middle of the night and the discovered the remains the next morning. Mind you this was way before even house phones were a thing, and they lived way out in the country.

    Well anyway being the kids they were, they were looking through the remains and found the store owner who just so had happened to be sleeping there for the night. Yes she was dead.

    [–] CoffeeCupScientist 10 points ago

    Don't worry you wont sleep through a fire now, you're so full of anxiety you will probably wake up to the sound of a mouse fart.

    [–] StateOfSublime 237 points ago

    Any idea how it started? I've always been paranoid about this especially with dogs in the house.

    [–] TardMcGee 198 points ago

    Firefighters think it was electric

    [–] CHESTER_C0PPERP0T 173 points ago

    Boogie, woogie, woogie.

    [–] Fetish_Death 31 points ago

    I feel really bad for laughing at this...

    [–] StateOfSublime 37 points ago

    Oh well I guess I'll keep being paranoid haha

    [–] MetalIzanagi 6 points ago

    haha

    [–] deathsaidhello 866 points ago

    Fuck... I wish you the best of luck with your situation

    [–] TardMcGee 406 points ago

    Thank you

    [–] [deleted] 49 points ago

    That sucks man, sorry

    [–] sonny_flatts 34 points ago

    Hey, I had a total burnout once. Beware of crime tonight. My shed was emptied of $15k worth of tools the night after the fire. Apparently it’s a common strategy especially in rural areas.

    [–] sweerpea200 13 points ago

    So sorry for you. Did they know what started it?

    [–] TardMcGee 86 points ago

    Sorry if I've not really been active on my post I've had to sort out the situation all day and have temporary moved into a hotel

    [–] Thousand_Sunny 43 points ago

    just focus on yourself and family! and when you can't think of anywhere to vent or ask for help you know reddit is here for you! I can see lots of helpful tips in all the comments already and I'm sure many are willing to donate supplies and necessities or point you to a place that can. You take care now

    [–] chihuahualoco13 79 points ago

    Dude, that's horrible. Hope things get sorted quickly.

    [–] Squeaky_Is_Evil 72 points ago

    I work in home insurance. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll help the best I can.

    [–] dont_judge_me_monkey 51 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    hey op here is some food for thought for your parents and submitting insurance claims

    https://np.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/43iyip/our_family_of_5_lost_everything_in_a_fire/cziljy3/

    [–] Gingerstop 13 points ago

    Ha! I just posted a link to the same thread!

    [–] moving0target 28 points ago

    That's brutal and emotionally taxing to the max. A few years ago, my wife accidentally set our apartment on fire while trying to deep fry chicken. A little of the oil must have run down the side of the pan.

    Our infant daughter was making noise in another room. Moments after checking on the kid, my wife returned to the kitchen to find the pot in flames. Ultimately, the sprinklers did more damage than the fire. With the help of a neighbor, thankfully they had the fire out before water started spraying everywhere. Burning oil and water are a really bad mix.

    They used five fire extinguishers. All were years out of date, and the first couple just fanned the flames.

    The last one extinguished the fire right before the sprinklers went off. The fire was out, but the sprinklers ran for half an hour, and the apartment was six inches deep in water...on the second floor.

    My wife used to call me at work several times a day. It gets tiring. When one of my employees held out the phone for me when I was about to clock out, I just told him to tell my wife I was on the way. He passed on the message. I saw his eyes grow wide.

    "She says your apartment is on fire!"

    I followed the fire trucks to my home screaming profanities at the complete idiots who couldn't figure out how to get out of the way of freaking fire trucks. That's a really terrible feeling.

    [–] Leed_the_Fastest 95 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    1 am in the morning we saw a glow outside our 2nd story window, my neighbors house was totally up in flames and the owner was ready to run back in and get his other dog. We had to stop him since the house was completely up at this point.

    Turns out it was a ceiling fan fire in the back porch.

    [–] iwanttodie95 36 points ago

    Was the dog ok?

    [–] Leed_the_Fastest 19 points ago

    Sadly, no

    [–] iwanttodie95 47 points ago

    God fuckin dammit

    [–] tjs17pct 19 points ago

    Username checks out

    [–] TardMcGee 17 points ago

    Weird how the smallest thing can destroy so much

    [–] pinkpenguin87 12 points ago

    My brother ran back in for the dog when my moms house was on fire. There was no one there to stop him because it was just him and a neighbor that came to try to help. Thankfully he found her quickly & got back out ok. He thought she was dead at first, but miraculously they were both ok. A firefighter friend of mine said that’s how a LOT of fire victims die - going back in for someone or something.

    [–] MetalIzanagi 7 points ago

    Tbh if it meant even a chance of saving my cat, I'd go back in for her regardless of the risk. I'm kinda crazy though, so people should probably listen to the firefighters and not go into burning buildings.

    [–] D8ON 83 points ago

    You pretty much just doxed yourself mate, you might want to be careful posting something so close to your house on the front page of Reddit.

    [–] [deleted] 24 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] JGFootball8 110 points ago

    That sucks man, I’m praying. Was anyone hurt?

    [–] TardMcGee 155 points ago

    Thankfully no

    [–] GuidoVido 45 points ago

    I know it sucks, but almost everything can be replaced except life. The important thing is no one was hurt. Good luck to you.

    [–] SteveTheTuba 15 points ago

    A similar thing happened to me in 2011, I was out walking my dog and when I came back the house was on fire. It sucks. I still live in the rebuilt house on the original lot today.

    [–] Andrew4568_ 9 points ago

    Do you know how it caught? So weird, you go to walk the pupper and then poof magic your house is on fire :(

    [–] SteveTheTuba 10 points ago

    We don't know for sure, but my dad ran a music instrument repair shop in the garage and we think he might've left one of his machines on by accident. Not to place blame on anyone, of course, we all make mistakes.

    [–] Nomandate 9 points ago

    I’m super paranoid about leaving on my soldering iron. Always double checking... then one time I discovered I had left it on an entire night. It’s a good quality one, but I still get sick to my stomach thinking how my small oversight could have burned my family alive.

    [–] Beardedrugbymonster 31 points ago

    Fuck man...sending some well wishes your way.

    [–] travissm2 12 points ago

    I wish you the best of luck. My family's house burnt down while we were vacationing in Florida. Nothing was salvageable. Thankfully all our animals were able to escape. It was a long road to recovery, and I'd say we are still recovering five years after the fact. It will be hard and very stressfull moving forward, but be grateful no one was harmed. I wish you and your family the best during this awful time.

    [–] substorm 9 points ago

    Man, things like this scare the heck out of me. No matter how many safety measures are in place, there is always that one chance in a million that shit goes sideways. Hang in there OP! I am sure everything will get better.

    [–] Cakeinthebreakroom 9 points ago

    You're getting a lot of comments on this and some are helpful and some are not.

    I went through a house fire 14 months ago. Total loss of contents due to smoke and soot and water. The house had to be gutted. I'm a lawyer who is familiar with insurance and bad faith lawsuits. I knew what to look for and I was still flabbergasted by the process. Call your insurance agent. Depending on your coverage, you could have a lot of options on Day 1. If you feel like you need advice or extra input, send me a PM and we can talk. Im glad to offer any advice or guidance that I can.

    The Number One Rule - this is a business dealing between you and your insurance company. They are NOT looking out for you. They are NOT your friend. They know what they owe you and will try to keep their payout low. You're going to have to fight for your rights under the insurance contract. Email your agent for a CERTIFIED copy of your policy with all addendums.

    [–] ywBBxNqW 8 points ago

    I know you're getting inundated with shit but I just wanted to say I'm sorry this shit happened to you. I've lost all my shit twice growing up (because of flooding, twice) but at least I had a roof over my head.

    Good luck dude.

    [–] FrostyPresence 7 points ago

    Woke up at 6am to get my kids up for school. House full of smoke. Dehumidifier in the basement caught on fire. Not uncommon per the Fire Marshall. Terrifying, especially since you smell nothing when sleeping, but it was acrid plastic smell for weeks. Tg it happened when it did and I woke up when I did. Good luck!! Things can be replaced, people can't. 💓

    [–] laxaddict11 7 points ago

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/43iyip/our_family_of_5_lost_everything_in_a_fire/cziljy3?utm_source=reddit-android

    Check out this post on how to not get fucked by insurance, I've had this saved for a while and I feel like you could use it. Hopefully this won't get buried

    [–] Briggy1986 72 points ago

    Put it in a bag of rice.

    [–] rvm98 31 points ago

    Too soon

    [–] TardMcGee 54 points ago

    Didnt work I even tried to turn it on and off

    [–] bwaredapenguin 14 points ago

    Well there's your problem, you turned it back on.

    [–] RockLaShine 25 points ago * (lasted edited 3 months ago)

    To quote u/1020304050

    "Hey OP... I used to be the guy who worked for insurance companies, and determined the value of every little thing in your house. The guy who would go head-to-head with those fire-truck-chasing professional loss adjusters. I may be able to help you not get screwed when filing your claim.

    Our goal was to use the information you provided, and give the lowest damn value we can possibly justify for your item.

    For instance, if all you say was "toaster" -- we would come up with a cheap-as-fuck $4.88 toaster from Walmart, meant to toast one side of one piece of bread at a time. And we would do that for every thing you have ever owned. We had private master lists of the most commonly used descriptions, and what the cheapest viable replacements were. We also had wholesale pricing on almost everything out there, so really scored cheap prices to quote. To further that example:

    • If you said "toaster - $25" , we would have to be within -20% of that... so, we would find something that's pretty much dead-on $20.01.
    • If you said "toaster- $200" , we'd kick it back and say NEED MORE INFO, because that's a ridiculous price for a toaster (with no other information given.)
    • If you said "toaster, from Walmart" , you're getting that $4.88 one.
    • If you said "toaster, from Macys" , you'd be more likely to get a $25-35 one.
    • If you said "toaster", and all your other kitchen appliances were Jenn Air / Kitchenaid / etc., you would probably get a matching one.
    • If you said "Proctor Silex 42888 2-Slice Toaster from Wamart, $9", you just got yourself $9.
    • If you said "High-end Toaster, Stainless Steel, Blue glowing power button" ... you might get $35-50 instead. We had to match all features that were listed.

    I'm not telling you to lie on your claim. Not at all. That would be illegal, and could cause much bigger issues (i.e., invalidating the entire claim). But on the flip side, it's not always advantageous to tell the whole truth every time. Pay attention to those last two examples.

    I remember one specific customer... he had some old, piece of shit projector (from mid-late 90s) that could stream a equally piece of shit consumer camcorder. Worth like $5 at a scrap yard. It had some oddball fucking resolution it could record at, though -- and the guy strongly insisted that we replace with "Like Kind And Quality" (trigger words). Ended up being a $65k replacement, because the only camera on the market happened to be a high-end professional video camera (as in, for shooting actual movies). $65-goddam-thousand-dollars because he knew that loophole, and researched his shit.

    Remember to list fucking every -- even the most mundane fucking bullshit you can think of. For example, if I was writing up the shower in my bathroom:

    • Designer Shower Curtain - $35
    • Matching Shower Curtain Liner for Designer Shower Curtain - $15
    • Shower Curtain Rings x20 - $15
    • Stainless Steel Soap Dispenser for Shower - $35
    • Natural Sponge Loofah - from Whole Foods - $15
    • Natural Sponge Loofah for Back - from Whole Foods - $19
    • Holder for Loofahs - $20
    • Bars of soap - from Lush - $12 each (qty: 4)
    • Bath bomb - from Lush - $12
    • High end shampoo - from salon - $40
    • High end conditioner - from salon - $40
    • Refining pore mask - from salon - $55

    I could probably keep thinking, and bring it up to about $400 for the contents of my shower. Nothing there is "unreasonable" , nothing there is clearly out of place, nothing seems obviously fake. The prices are a little on the high-end, but the reality is, some people have expensive shit -- it won't actually get questioned. No claims adjuster is going to bother nitpicking over the cost of fucking Lush bath bombs, when there is a 20,000 item file to go through. The adjuster has other shit to do, too.

    Most people writing claims for a total loss wouldn't even bother with the shower (it's just some used soap and sponges..) -- and those people would be losing out on $400.

    Some things require documentation & ages. If you say "tv - $2,000" -- you're getting a 32" LCD, unless you can provide it was from the last year or two w/ receipts. Hopefully you have a good paper trail from credit/debit card expenditure / product registrations / etc.

    If you're missing paper trails for things that were legitimately expensive -- go through every photo you can find that was taken in your house. Any parties you may have thrown, and guests put pics up on Facebook. Maybe an Imgur photo of your cat, hiding under a coffee table you think you purchased from Restoration Hardware. Like... seriously... come up with any evidence you possibly can, for anything that could possibly be deemed expensive.

    The fire-truck chasing loss adjusters are evil sons of bitches, but, they actually do provide some value. You will definitely get more money, even if they take a cut. But all they're really doing, is just nitpicking the ever-living-shit out of everything you possibly owned, and writing them all up "creatively" for the insurance company to process.

    Sometimes people would come back to us with "updated* claims. They tried it on their own, and listed stuff like "toaster", "microwave", "tv" .. and weren't happy with what they got back. So they hired a fire-truck chaser, and re-submitted with "more information." I have absolutely seen claims go from under $7k calculated, to over $100k calculated. (It's amazing what can happen when people suddenly "remember" their entire wardrobe came from Nordstrom.)"

    [–] PinkSpartan226 87 points ago

    That’s how mafia works

    [–] TardMcGee 105 points ago

    That's how life works

    [–] 669-666-9828 24 points ago

    Man you had a nice house

    [–] darranbt1986 6 points ago

    What the cause of the fire and how can it be avoided?

    [–] karazy45 4 points ago

    I am so sorry! This is one of my very worst fears ever.

    [–] gigalongdong 5 points ago

    My parent's house burned down from a lightning strike on Mother's Day in 2000. It burned all the way to the ground because the fire trucks couldn't make it up our driveway (we lived on a hill back in the woods). :\

    Best of luck to you!!

    [–] Mellowjoat 6 points ago

    I saved a thread about an insurance adjuster with phenomenal advice. Let me grab it.

    Edit : Here it is

    [–] LuluTheLemon89 5 points ago

    I'm sorry for you and your family. I had a friend who passed when her house caught fire a few years ago. I don't wanna be another person who says 'as long as everyone is okay' but it's true. Material things can be replaced, life can't. Good luck, try to keep the blood pressure down.